Kırmızı Şemsiye

LGBTI Activist Attacked in Their Home: “They’ll release us anyway: You’ll have to deal with the consequences” 

One of the founders of the Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association (Kırmızı Şemsiye), Kemal Ördek, was raped in their home. The police commented, “Enough with this Tribe of Lot.” The assailants who said, “Officer, we’re manly men. You understand us, don’t you?” were released. You can also read Kemal’s letter

Source: Çiçek Tahaoğlu. “LGBTİ Aktivistine Evinde Saldırı: Nasılsa Serbest Kalırız, Sen Düşün” (“LGBTI Activist Attacked in Their Home: “They’ll release us anyway: You’ll have to deal with the consequences”), Bianet, 8 July 2015,

Founder and chairperson of the Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association Kemal Ördek was robbed and raped in their home in Ankara. A police officer at the police station reacted by saying “Enough with this tribe of Lot.” [1]

It has been three days since the attack. At the police station the assailants threatened Ördek by saying, “We know where you live now. They’ll release us anyway and you’ll have to deal with the consequences.” The assailants are free and they continue to harass Ördek on their cell phone.

Kemal Ördek’s attorney told Bianet that the prosecutor who is responsible for the police station in question released the assailants without a trial. At the moment, the case is in the hands of the public prosecutor. Four attorneys continue efforts to collect evidence.

They took Ördek to an ATM to withdraw money

Kemal Ördek is an activist who has been working for LGBTI and sex workers’ rights for years. Two men appeared at their door on Sunday night. One of them raped Ördek and they confiscated Ördek’s cell phone. Then, they called a relative and gave them Ördek’s address.

The two men demanded money from Ördek. When they found out that they did not have any cash at home, they took Ördek to an ATM machine. Ördek spotted a police car near the ATM, ran to the police and described what had just happened.


4 Trans Sex Workers Attacked in One Night

4 trans sex worker women were attacked last night [May 2, 2015] in the cities of Istanbul, Kocaeli, and Izmir.

Source: Bianet, “Bir Gecede 4 Trans Seks İşçisi Saldırıya Uğradı” [“4 Trans Sex Workers Attacked in One Night”],, 3 May 2015,

In Istanbul’s Şişli district, a woman named Gülşen was found stabbed in her home. According to the statements by Gülşen’s friends, two men who were previously her clients came to her home and attacked her with a knife and a skewer. Trans women, sex workers, and supporters arrived at Şişli Etfal Hospital, where Gülşen was taken to. Gülşen was transferred to the ICU in critical condition following a long surgery.

Those who went to Şişli Etfal for solidarity reported that another trans sex worker woman was shot and brought to the hospital around 6am. The woman is reported to be in stable condition.

In Izmir, again on the night of 2 May 2015, a trans sex worker woman was stabbed in the back by unidentified persons.

The same night, in Kocaeli – Gebze, three trans women were assaulted by an armed client in the house where they had just moved in. One woman was hospitalized with leg wounds.

The Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association called on all trans women and sex workers for solidarity and said, in their press release:

“We are calling for respective law enforcement officers to find the assailants immediately and for the judicial branch to punish them accordingly. We are inviting the government and all sects of the society to act with genuine solidarity with trans sex worker women and meet their demands.”

December 17, Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers: “You Cannot Kill Me for Being a Sex Worker”

Source: Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association, “17 Aralık Seks İşçilerine Yönelik Şiddetle Mücadele Günü: “Seks İşçisiyim Diye Beni Öldüremezsin”,” (“December 17, Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers: “You Cannot Kill Me for Being a Sex Worker”,”) Başka Haber

Today is December 17, the Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. Female, male, and trans sex workers are trying to continue their lives amidst violence in Turkey and across the world. Labeling, othering, social exclusion, discrimination, violence, and murder are the daily experiences for sex workers. Sex workers are imprisoned in the cycles of threats, sexual assault, extortion, physical assaults, and murder. Society does not oppose this situation and officials do not take preventative measures. Sex workers are left to die.

On the streets, sex workers are exposed to ill-treatment and torture by the police. They are pushed further into the streets and the center of violence through arbitrary fines. Police send gangs to attack sex workers.

Sex workers’ houses are raided and sealed. While being pushed out to work on the streets, sex workers experience all types of violence from customers, police, and gangs.

“Prostitution raids” are conducted daily, sex workers are revealed to the media, and forced into mandatory HIV testing. They are also lynched through lawsuits filed against them.

Every year, many sex workers are killed by their customers, gangs or their partners. The perpetrators are either not caught or if they are, their penalties are reduced due to various excuses or they are released. In this way, the State permits the killing of sex workers.

Brothels are closed and, with the closures, the workplaces of sex workers are taken away from them.  Therefore, sex workers are forced to work on the streets in extremely unsafe and risky places without any protection. They become the victims of economic violence,  by being pushed into insecurity and poverty.

Laws and policies that turn sex workers into criminals portray sex workers as “dishonorable,” “immoral,” “low,” and “against social values.” With this, social hatred towards sex workers multiplies.

Written and visual media deem sex work to be negative and present biased news based on information fed to them by the police. In this way, they victimize sex workers once more.

Sex workers from the elderly, HIV+, homeless, poor, disabled, and other vulnerable groups are not only subjected to all these rights violations but they also experience violence due to their special circumstances.

As long as violence against sex workers is not prevented, violence and hate crimes towards women will not cease. As long as the multitude of violence against sex workers does not end, the contraction of sexually transmitted diseases will continue to increase. As long as the government ignores the violence against sex workers, murders will not end and social peace will not be established.

The government must halt the closure of brothels; stop arbitrary fines using the Law of Misdemeanors; thoroughly investigate the ill-treatment and torture of sex workers by the police and punish the perpetrators; end penalty reductions for the perpetrators of murder and carry out effective investigations; cease “prostitution raids” against sex workers, which turn into a practice of lynching through the claim of ending prostitution; recognize sex work as a profession and eradicate all humiliating and discriminatory treatment against sex workers.

The physical, psychological, sexual, and economic violence against sex workers must end. The rights of sex workers are human rights.

Regulations Leave Sex Workers Unprotected against HIV

Source: “Yasalar Seks İşçilerini HIV’e Karşı Korumasız Bırakıyor,” (“Regulations Leave Sex Workers Unprotected against HIV,”) Bianet, 02 December 2013,

On December 1st World AIDS Day, the Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association pointed out that sex workers are one of the important vulnerable groups that must be reached regarding HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

The association has called on the government to form inexpensive, accessible and inclusive services which are suitable for the special needs of sex workers for protection, prevention, diagnosis and treatment.